Laurie Hernandez

Olympic Gymnast Laurie Hernandez joins Sasha as the first guest of 2021 to talk all things mental health and preparing for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 in 2021. Laurie shares how she navigated the challenges of 2020 and maintained a positive outlook. Sasha and Laurie explore the mental side of their rise through their respective sports at such a young age and how Laurie hopes to change the gymnastics culture for the better. Laurie explains that maintaining her mental health is just as important as her physical health.

Twitter - @LaurieHernandez 
Instagram - @LaurieHernandez
Facebook - @LaurieHernandezUSA

Show Notes:

  • :26 – Growing up and her parents’ influence on her life
  • 2:15 – Preparing a potential second Olympic Games
  • 3:57 – Adapting to training at home amid the COVID pandemic
  • 5:20 – Making the most of the extra year to prepare for the Games
  • 6:50 – Taking time off and what it looks like to come back to gymnastics
  • 8:18 – Finding support in2016 teammate Aly Raisman
  • 10:00 – ‘I’ve Got This’ mantra and Laurie’s children’s book
  • 12:36 – Her first Olympic Games in Rio at 16 years-old
  • 15:24 – What does Laurie remember from the Opening Ceremony in Rio
  • 17:08 – Mentally preparing for Trials and a possible second Olympic Games
  • 19:30 – Advice for elite gymnasts growing up in the sport
  • 22:06 – The process of Laurie learning to block out negativity
  • 24:10 – Launching the ‘Stronger Than You Think’ campaign
  • 25:30 – Changes at USA Gymnastics and the sport culture
  • 27:05 – Learning when to push and when to take care of yourself in a sport that focuses on perfection
  • 30:06 – Advice on building a routine focused on mental health to combat burnout
  • 32:50 – Who Laurie is an athlete and learning to use that to her advantage
  • 35:05 – Taking two years off after Rio
  • 36:58 – Being on Dancing With The Stars and finding new creative outlets
  • 39:40 – What Laurie sees herself doing after gymnastics
  • 40:40 – Laurie’s Olympic or Paralympic moment